25 Useful WYSIWYG Editors Reviewed


When it comes to coding editors, it’s damn hard to a get a clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have to offer. However, in the end everybody needs one, so it’s important to know which editor is best tailored to your personal needs.

WYSIWYG-editors are often criticized by real coding ninjas for bloated, dirty and not standards-complaint source code they’ve been producing over the last years. However, WYSIWYG-editors have become much better recently. Some of them even produce valid and elegant code.

Sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update their web-sites. And this is where the utility of WYSIWYG-editors comes in. As a web-professional you need to provide your clients with some sophisticated advice and offer a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG-editor.

We believe that it would be wrong to recommend you some “best” editors, because the choice always depends on your requirements, primary goals, skills and experience. Therefore in this article we’ve tried to give you an overview of both useful and deprecated WYSIWYG-editors.

Hopefully, you’ll find some editors you’ve never heard about before. Or maybe you’ll find some features you miss in your current editor and risk to experiment with some promising alternatives to improve your workflow. Besides, you can learn what editors you could use and what tools you shouldn’t use.

What does WYSIWYG mean?

The somehow cryptic abbreviation WYSIWYG stands for “What You See Is What You Get”. In such editors you edit not directly the source code of your documents, but its presentation as it (hopefully) will appear in the final document. So instead of writing blocks of code manually (as you e.g. would do it in Word or Latex), you manipulate with design components using an editor window. This means that you view something very similar to the end result while the document or image is being created.

Notice: this post reviews only desktop-based WYSIWYG-editors which run on Windows, Linux or Mac. It doesn’t provide an overview of JavaScript-based WYSIWIG-editors — you can find an extensive overview of JavaScript-based WYISWYG Web Editors in the post Through The Web WYSIWIG Web Editors — The List1 or WYSIWIG Editors Test2.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver3 (Win / Mac)
Previously Macromedia Dreamweaver, this tool is one of the commonly used editors which can support developers, improve the workflow and save you a lot of time during coding. While previous versions of Dreamweaver sometimes produced rather quirky source code, the last version is able to generate (mostly) quite clean markup.

Dreamweaver also offers numerous helpful tools such as the library of code snippets, ftp management, server debug and an integrated coding development. E.g. you can view CSS information in a single, unified CSS panel that makes it easy to see the styles applied to a specific element, identify where attributes are defined, and edit existing styles without entering Code view. See also our List of Dreamweaver Tutorials4. Price: $400 (version CS3).


Some of Dreamweaver’s endless features:

  • Advanced CSS Editing
  • Integrated coding environment
  • Spry framework for Ajax
  • Browser Compatibility Check
  • Integration with Photoshop CS3 and Fireworks
  • Code snippets (e.g. CSS Layouts)
  • FTP management
  • XML support
  • FLV support
  • Learning resources (e.g. Adobe CSS Advisor)
  • Numerous Dreamweaver add-ons, e.g. SVN for Dreamweaver6 ($59).


Amaya7 (Win / Mac / Linux)
What really makes Amaya different is the fact that it is a hybrid of a web browser and a web-page editing application — thus you can browse in the Web and edit your pages in the same application. Created by the WWW-concorcium, this allround-tool allows you to manipulate web-sites, change or update their content, insert new images or links. Of course, if Amaya can display these pages.


The last version of the editor, Amaya 10, was released in February 2008. It is able to work on several documents at a time (several (X)HTML, native MathML (.mml) and SVG (.svg) documents can be displayed and edited at a time). E.g. you can insert mathematical formulas using a pop-up: Amaya converts them via Math-ML on the fly.

Amaya also includes a collaborative annotation application (annotations are external comments, notes, remarks that can be attached to any Web document or a selected part of the document) and it has support for SVG, RDF and XPointer. Open-source.


RapidWeaver349 (Mac)
RapidWeaver is a powerful template-based website creation tool which can generate pages of different kinds, such as styled text, weblog, contact forms, image galleries, Flash slideshows, and podcasts; it also has a built-in FTP uploader, and integration with iPhoto and .Mac.


The editor includes podcasting, inline comments, RSS feeds, custom permalink and tag support. RapidWeaver has also been finely tuned to be SEO friendly. It also has many powerful features such as modifiable themes, live php rendering, mix and match WYSIWYG and HTML, smart publishing, XHTML and CSS based site output, viewable source code, built-in error checking. All templates are XHTML and CSS based. What is remarkable is that all the code RapidWeaver generates is valid. Price: $49.

Adobe Contribute

Adobe Contribute11
The main purpose of Adobe Contribute is to allow editing web-sites and blogs for users without any technical expertise. Contribute CS3 enables content authors to update existing websites and blogs while maintaining site integrity. Contribute offers a Dreamweaver integration, enables posting from Microsoft Office and editing from IE 7 and Firefox.


With a WYSIWYG authoring environment, content authors and contributors can edit or update any website or blog without having to learn HTML. Price: $169 (version CS3).

Adobe Golive

Adobe Golive13 (Win / Mac)
Once Adobe’s flagship, now GoLive is an editor which even Adobe isn’t really happy with. In April Adobe has stopped development and sales of GoLive 9, which makes GoLive a legacy web authoring application. Adobe recommends its GoLive users to switch to Dreamweaver which is why you probably shouldn’t recommend GoLive (actually a remarkably powerful editing tool, see features below) to your clients.


Some of Adobe GoLive 9 features

  • Designer styles
  • Visual CSS layout
  • Place command
  • Adobe InDesign® integration
  • Color management
  • Platform support
  • Site management tools
  • Publish Server
  • Smart Objects

Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft Expression15 (Win)
Once being severely criticized for its really bad web-editors (Frontpage), Microsoft’s recent editor, Expression, seems to have learnt a lot from its predecessors. Expression attempts to comfort web-users with features which are remarkably similar to Adobe Dreamweaver. However, in a direct comparison Dreamweaver offers more and produces a cleaner code. Nevertheless, Expression does produce decent standards-compliant code and knows how to deal with CSS and CSS-layouts.

The Studio edition with further software applications (graphic design tool, video encoding tool etc.) costs ca. $500. Single Expression package costs $350. You can get Expression by updating Frontpage and thus save some money. A 60 days trial version16 can be downloaded for free, however a registration is required.

Please notice: Expression isn’t a successor of Frontpage, rather a different development tool. Microsoft Expression, which bears striking similarity to Microsoft SharePoint Designer, is rather designer-oriented, aimed at general web development. Microsoft SharePoint Designer which reflects the emphasis on designing and customizing SharePoint-based sites, can be considered as Frontpage’s big brother.


Some of Microsoft Expression features:

  • ASP.NET 2.0 Integration
  • Advanced CSS rendering
  • XPath Expression Builder
  • Build and format views of industry-standard XML data
  • Tag Property Grid
  • Accessibility Checking
  • Real-time Standards Validation
  • Full Schema Support


NVU18 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This editor should once become a real alternative to dominating products: an ultimate WYSYWIG-editor for Linux, Microsoft Windows and Mac which could rival FrontPage and Dreamweaver. And in some aspects Nvu indeed offers more features than one would expect from a completely free software.

Nvu (pronounced as N-view, for a "new view") offers integrated file management via FTP, powerful support for forms, tables and templates and it is indeed very easy to use. CaScadeS, the well-known CSS editor add-on, is integrated into Nvu and enables you to create and manage stylesheets easily and see your style settings applied ‘”live” to the document you’re editing.


Nvu is open source and released under the Mozilla Public License (MPL). Unfortunately, the development of NVU hasn’t been continued over the last years. An advanced, improved version of NVU is KompoZer2120.

Some of NVU’s features:

  • Site manager allows you to review the sites that you’re building
  • XML support
  • Built-in validator


KompoZer2120 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This tool is a branch of NVU which has been developed further after the development of NVU has slowed down. KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and WYSIWYG-editing.

KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it a feasible solution for users who want to create sites without obtaining technical knowledge. Compared to NVU, Kompozer produces a cleaner markup and has visible marks — visible carriage returns and block borders.


The last version was released in August 2008. Kompozer can be considered as a sound alternative for small projects and for users without technical knowledge. But it’s definitely too weak for professional web-development.

Namo WebEditor 2006

Namo WebEditor 200623 (Win)
Namo WebEditor combines almost all tools which are necessary for creating web-sites in a simple and user-friendly interface. The interface elements are remarkably intuitive, simple and easy-to-use. You can switch between a design-editor, HTML and browser-preview. You can also use a number of wizards to automate your workflow. Namo is powerful, however its WYSIWYG-features are limited. The editor wasn’t updated since 2006 which is why the producing source code is sometimes extremely quirky. Namo Web Editor Pro comes with a Flash editing program as well as a graphics program. A test-version is available. Price: $99.95.


Some of Namo Webeditor features:

  • Code Helpers for speedy auto tag completion
  • Quick Tag Editor
  • Tag Selector
  • HTML/CSS Reference

Evrsoft First Page 2006

Evrsoft First Page 200625 (Win)
Actually, this editor is highly underrated. It’s not that popular and it hasn’t been updated since 2006, but it has some quite useful features one wouldn’t find in advanced WYSIWYG-editors. E.g. Auto History feature remembers all the attributes and values commonly used and suggests the “right” value automatically.

Dual Preview Engine enables you to preview your web documents in multiple browsers within First Page 2006. You can preview your work in Internet Explorer, Mozilla or view your page in both browsers side-by-side (horizontal/vertical pane swap). And a real-time visual source rendering engine offers document editing and previewing without the typical code tampering usually seen in WYSIWYG editors.

A number of integrated tools produce decent standards-based code, quickly and easily. First Page is freeware. Similar freeware alternative (also not updated since 2005): Selida HTML Editor26.


Some of First Page’s features:

  • CSS Class Support & Auto Detection
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Tag Document Selection Tool
  • Tag Auto Completion
  • Tidy HTML Power Tools
  • Preview in IE as you type
  • Image Mapper
  • CSS Style Sheet Designer
  • Server Side Includes Support
  • Highly customizable Toolbars and Interface
  • FTP client
  • Advanced Find & Replace In Files

Microsoft SharePoint Designer

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 (Win)
Microsofts Frontpage successor. SharePoint Designer is a standard WYSIWYG-editor. Apart from support for interactive ASP.NET pages it doesn’t offer something revolutionary. Free trial is available. There is an online-version which requires Internet Explorer and a large potion of patience.



Some of Sharepoint’s features:

  • support for interactive ASP.NET pages
  • create Data Views from RSS, XMl, Office XML
  • collaborate with the built-in Workflow Designer
  • CSS tools
  • track customized pages
  • spelling checker
  • SharePoint Server 2007 integration

NetObjects Fusion

NetObjects Fusion30
This editor was once probably the worst yet extremely popular WYSIWYG-editor. It produced horrible source code (only MS Word produced worse source code), but was often given away by web-hosting companies and ISPs. NetObjects Fusion allows you to create web-sites without any technical knowledge. Particulalry if you’d like to create a business card, you may get it done in minutes. But if you want to create professional web-sites, NetObjects isn’t an option worth considering.

Currently NetObjects Fusion is available in its 10th version. The quality of the produced source code might have changed, but it doesn’t really matter. There is a trial-version which requires you to register in a shop. Which is why we have no screenshot for the product. Price: €100.

Quanta Plus

Quanta Plus31 (Linux)
Quanta Plus is a stable, very comfortable and feature rich web development environment. Quanta has created an editor designed for efficient and natural use and with maximal user extensibility.

The editor is capable of both WYSIWYG and handcoding interface. It features tag completion as you type and tag editing through a dialog interface, script language variable auto-completion, project management, live preview and a PHP debugger. It also has a visual CSS editor, autocompletion for CSS, offers high extensibility and integrated preview.


The editor has also nice features for project management, including support for local and remote (through the network) projects. Project files can be uploaded to many servers using various protocols. CVS support is integrated, Subversion support is possible through external plugins. Quanta is based on KDE. Released under GPL.


Freeway33 (Mac)
Freeway (originally Uniqorn) comes in two flavours, Freeway Pro and Freeway Express. Freeway 5 Pro can be used to create CSS page layouts using absolute positioning. Advanced procedures (like connecting to a MySQL database using a scripting language like PHP) are done through plug-ins called “Actions”. Several Actions can be downloaded for free on several websites, but there are also commercial 3rd Party Actions.

There is a trial-version which requires you to fill in a quite long web form. Freeway has been nominated for the Macworld 2008 Awards in the Creative Web Product of the year section. If you use Mac, FreeWay is together with RapidWeaver349 probably first option worth considering.


Some of Freeway’s features:

  • Multiple Master Pages
  • Layout Tools
  • Link Map
  • Link Styles
  • Integrated .Mac upload
  • Internet Explorer Compatibility
  • Support for Sliced Background Images
  • Built-in preview within Freeway (Safari/Webkit)
  • Full EPS (Panther & later), Illustrator, Photoshop layered file import
  • Freeway Shop
  • Work with Blogger Templates

Seamonkey Composer

SeaMonkey Composer36 (Win / Mac / Linux)
This editor is a simple yet powerful alternative for large commercial applications. Being a successor of Netscape Composer, SeaMonkey Composer doesn’t really have anything common with it.


The editor is powerful yet simple and offers dynamic image and table resizing, quick insert and delete of table cells, improved CSS support, and support for positioned layers. The WYSIWYG-editor is built into SeaMonkey, an all-in-one web application suite.


Create38 (Mac)
Create combines the major features of applications like Illustrator, InDesign, Pages, GoLive, Canvas, DreamWeaver, QuarkExpress, Streamline in one easy-to-use, low-cost, OS X native application. Among other things you can add links to text and graphics with drag-n-drop, the tool automatically creates navigation bars and index and you can produce PDF and web-sites from one document.

WYSIWYG Web Builder

WYSIWYG Web Builder39
Web Builder is a highly customizable and extensible application with numerous features, scripts and templates. New design elements are added via drag’n’drop, many scripts. Image editing is available within the software.


The PayPal eCommerce Tools are integrated; RSS Feed object with podcast option, blog with built-in RSS feed option and Google compatible sitemap generator are available. The editor also has numerous extensions such as password protection, RSS feed, RSS parser, photo album and lightboxes.

Editors for non-professionals, newbies and small companies

iWeb41 (Mac)
iWeb is small, compact and simple. You can switch the theme of any page with the click of your mouse. Mix themes in a site if you wish. You can place Google Maps and Google AdSense ads on your web pages and simplify navigation by dragging your photo albums to a sleek, animated index page. Web widgets, live content from other sites, like video, stock tickers, and headline news can also be added with few clicks. Price: $7. No trial-version is available.


Sandvox43 (Mac)
Sandvox features drag-and-drop website assembly, live editing without a preview mode, over 40 designs, and 17 different pagelets. It’s an easy and elegant website creation tool for people who don’t want to spend too much time developing their websites.

Drag and drop content, watch your site take shape as you create it, and make it available to others with Sandvox’s publishing assistant. Pricing starts at 49,- USD.


Sitegrinder45 (Win / Mac)
SiteGrinder is a Photoshop Plug-in that converts Photoshop designs to web sites. It is smart. It has many many features. It is easy to use. Trial-version is available. Pricing starts at $129.


Studioline Web347 (Win)
The results of Studioline can be observed only if Javascript is activated — otherwise you won’t see anything at all. The source code doesn’t contain tables, but it has a very low quality and is extremely bloated. Don’t try this at home.

Bluevoda48 (Advertising)
BlueVoda is offered as a free download but requires a VodaHost account to publish the website to. BlueVoda looks very similar to Microsoft Office’s interface, like most WYSIWYG editors HTML code is hidden allowing the user to create websites without knowing code and having components such as tables, text formatting and the rest.

Website X549 (Win)
WebSite X5 is a completely visual software: web-sites aren’t coded but “clicked” together. Remarkable: the results are standards-conform. Price: $60+.


<oXygen/>51 (Win / Linux / Mac)
Actually, <oXygen/> is an advanced XML editor, but it also offers a number of useful tools for both newbies and professional web-developers. In fact, you can exploit the tool for editing (X)HTML-web-documents. E.g. it makes easier the document sharing between content authors by including a Subversion (SVN) client. The SVN client allows you to browse repositories, check for changes, commit changes, update your working copy and examine the revision history. The editor is available as standalone desktop or Java Web Start application, or as an Eclipse plugin. Price: $59.

No code and text-editors? Wait, there will be more. Tomorrow.


  1. 1 http://geniisoft.com/showcase.nsf/WebEditors
  2. 2 http://www.standards-schmandards.com/2007/wysiwyg-editor-test-2/
  3. 3 http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/04/04/adobe-dreamweaver-tutorials/
  5. 5 http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver
  6. 6 http://www.dreamweaver-extensions.net/index.php/SVN-for-Dreamweaver--Windows-and-Macintosh/
  7. 7 http://www.w3.org/Amaya/
  8. 8 http://www.w3.org/Amaya/
  9. 9 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  10. 10 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  11. 11 http://www.adobe.com/products/contribute/
  12. 12 http://www.adobe.com/products/contribute/
  13. 13 http://www.adobe.com/products/golive/
  14. 14 http://www.adobe.com/products/golive/
  15. 15 http://www.microsoft.com/expression/
  16. 16 http://switch.atdmt.com/action/mrtyou_FY07ExpressionWebFreeTrialDownloadLinkDe_9
  17. 17 http://www.microsoft.com/expression/
  18. 18 http://net2.com/nvu/
  19. 19 http://net2.com/nvu/
  20. 20 http://kompozer.net/
  21. 21 http://kompozer.net/
  22. 22 http://kompozer.net/
  23. 23 http://www.namo.com/products/webeditor_professional.php
  24. 24 http://www.namo.com/products/webeditor_professional.php
  25. 25 http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage3.shtml
  26. 26 http://selida.camelon.nl/features.html
  27. 27 http://www.evrsoft.com/1stpage3.shtml
  28. 28 http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/default.aspx
  29. 29 http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/default.aspx
  30. 30 http://www.netobjects.com/
  31. 31 http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/
  32. 32 http://quanta.kdewebdev.org/
  33. 33 http://www.softpress.com/
  34. 34 http://www.realmacsoftware.com/rapidweaver/index.php
  35. 35 http://www.softpress.com/
  36. 36 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  37. 37 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  38. 38 http://www.stone.com/Create/Create_Overview.html
  39. 39 http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/
  40. 40 http://www.wysiwygwebbuilder.com/
  41. 41 http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/
  42. 42 http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/
  43. 43 http://www.karelia.com/
  44. 44 http://www.karelia.com/
  45. 45 http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/
  46. 46 http://www.medialab.com/sitegrinder/
  47. 47 http://www.studioline.biz/EN/products/overview-web/default.htm
  48. 48 http://www.bluevoda.com/
  49. 49 http://www.websitex5.com/en/index.html
  50. 50 http://www.seamonkey-project.org/
  51. 51 http://www.oxygenxml.com/

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    is there any wyswig editor that can be used withing a webpage like the one in wordpress.

  2. 202

    Was looking for exactly the same for my article.
    Best of this Web – Blog Spot

  3. 403

    Here is a complete list of WYSIWYG editors if you are looking for something special or research this subject in general.

  4. 604

    for all those who scoff at the lazy noobes,
    just remember there are people out there that are far from geeks and pros and just want to get something on to the web. we want it to look ok and do its job in saying its message. It would be great if we could do that with the tightest most efficient code that you all might admire. BUT that is not what we are about, the content is THE thing. If we have to be dirty and easy under the surface we can live with that, we havent the skill or the time to learn it, nor the money to pay someone else. That is what the internet is about – letting the plebains have their say. So if our charge over the techno barriers is untidy, please don’t mock, just smile and feel good that you know better. We are grateful for the people that review these sort of programs because they are the ones we can use.

  5. 805

    I Wish Adobe or someone would build a decent wysiwyg app. Dreamweaver is rubbish. Building sites by writing lines of code is ridiculous in today’s age…. who’s got time to learn all the code and hacks needed.

  6. 1006

    Here is my question being from some who knows little about code, I would appriciate a non biased answer too. If someone who uses a wysiwyg code generator to make his website (the one im thinking of is wysiwyg web builder 6) and the look of the website is the same on screen, what does it matter if the code in source looks amaturish or dity as ive read above. What I want to know (hinestly) is how does it affect my website if its doen this way: ranking, download time, etc?

    • 1207

      Front Page Rocks! ;)

      I started out 8-9 years ago, since then my coding has improved with leaps and bounds. The answer to the above question is this: Better coding will improve all of those.

      Better code uses less to get more = faster.
      Better code will be accessible = cross platform, faster, improving search engine result
      Better code will break less = reliable
      Better code will not only display correctly in your WYSIWYG editor (sometimes) but also in all web browsers and IE (not a browser).

      I use Dreamweaver (not Design view though) because it speeds up my work through code suggestions, and has a lot of other great features.

  7. 1408

    Just a thought here… in case anyone comes back!
    WYSIWYG editors for professional use need to offer a couple of essential things most of these lesser programs don’t:
    1: External css files, and
    2: Content Management systems.
    The second is essential unless you want to be the only person who can update all your clients’ sites. Dreamweaver, Freeway Pro, Rapidweaver and the latest incarnation of Serif Webplus X4 do this, though the latter means you have to rely on Serif’s own web servers for your CMS which is not acceptable to me.
    Others listed here may enable CMS but many of the cheaper ‘user friendly” (allegedly!) ones do not.
    And that is a deal breaker.
    In my experience, Freeway Pro and Dreamweaver are the only two contenders in the Mac environment, with maybe MS Expression web joining Dreamweaver for Windows users.

  8. 1609

    I’ve been using WYSIWYG Web Builder for about three years now and find it a remarkably easy piece of software to use. My website is 6000+ pages and the software handles it quite happily. It’s cheap to buy and the support is excellent. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone wanting to make a good looking website quickly and easily.

  9. 1810

    I have been with Yahoo Sitebuilder for 6 years but it’s really acting snarly the last several months. I’ve searched everywhere – is there a program like Yahoo Sitebuilder that will allow me to design my pages (no templates wanted) by placing my text/pics, etc where I want them? Can’t do the html. Someone please help!

    • 2011

      Have a look at Xara Web Designer. Seems it might do what you want.

    • 2212

      Definitely go with WYSIWYG Web builder its 40 bucks for the pro version it supports flash, js, php and everything. plus you can put pics and texts anywhere you want.

    • 2413

      Try Microsoft Office 365.

    • 2614

      Chris Lafaurie

      May 25, 2013 2:21 am

      Hello to the Pros & Novices’ alike,

      I don’t understand why SiteSpinner by Virtual Mechanics is not considered as a good WYSIWYG website editor/builder.

      I have used SiteSpinner on a, over 30 page, Caribbean resort website and have found the program to be easy to use and truly a visual HTML editor. Placing text, pictures and headings where you want and they are rendered that way in the browser.

      What you see is truly what you get and the program works well for all browser platforms including Apples Safari, which I have found to be a troublesome Browser.

      I can’t vouch for SiteSpinner’s code but the ease of use and the perfect rendering, in cross browser platforms, was all it took to sell me.

      Finally the other bonus was that with a little research I was able to obtain a first page listing on Google in front of many larger websites. In fact even though the resort is now non-active the site still sits on page 3 or 4, which after 4 years of inactivity, seems pretty good to me.

  10. 2815

    Moggs Oceanlane

    March 3, 2010 5:58 am

    Professional web developers may not use WYSIWYG editors a lot due to the fact that they can be restrictive and muck about with your code BUT professional graphic designers who create websites may use them more frequently. What is the actual definition of a web developer or designer anyway – I think it’s a pretty loose label at the best of times.

    Regardless of whether they use them or not good customer focused professional web developers will need to know about editing tools and have a vague idea about the pros and cons of a few different options… clients will ask and it looks good to have a few ready answers up your sleeve.

    I’m currently looking around for WYSIWYG mac editors to give a colleague a list of options – while there’s no immediate benefit, I often end up with work due to having been helpful with such things in the past… thanks for this list, very handy.

    RE the question about in page WYSIWYG editors you’ll see FCKeditor used in lots of applications – this is something generally added in to a CMS or application by a developer or web admin.

  11. 3016

    dreamweaver is such a good problem the file size is like 250 MB however most other programs its between 2 and 30 MB, that’s a big difference meaning dreamweaver is a lot different

  12. 3217

    Pulling Out My Fn Hair!

    March 18, 2010 1:16 pm


    After reading this entire forum I’m not any better informed then I was before.

    My only conclusion is that Dreamweaver is the necessary evil & I should focus on learning it. Besides who’s going to waste all that time learning no name programs that no one’s familiar with, or supporting a software company that has a potential to flop within a year or two?

    None of these opinions mean anything without first understanding a developers experience/skillset or spending a vast amount of time to substantiate this experience. We all know that talk is cheap when comparing “good” developers . The good are few & far between so these opinions hold very little merit . Who’s the best developer in this forum??? So you have a webdevelopment studio…..oohh that’s a new one, none of us have heard that before.
    Would someone create a site to rank web developers based on their skillset/experience for each application? The Olympians of computers so to speak. Once we know who’s the best, then we know who to listen to.
    Until then I’ll group you all as a bunch of egotistical power hungry j-offs that are playing bigshot in your moms basement.

  13. 3418

    Ashish Goswami

    May 2, 2010 6:26 am

    Respected all,
    I go through up to this form, i am still striving knowledge of web building, I come to conclusion that no – one of us provided a solution for new comer, i believe we should recommned some think for upcoming new professionals.


    Ashish Goswami

  14. 3619

    Philip Ingram

    May 7, 2010 8:28 am

    Just wanted share something I found about a month ago and I am in no way affiliated with this product but I am so excited about it’s development (moving at an extremely fast pace), I must plug away and share this with you. http://stiqr.com – live, cut and paste design, integrated into YOUR website.

    Forget archaic editing in proprietary and costly software. Enter the new era of inline drag-and-drop site design that’s as easy as using a graphics editor but gives you enough control on the back end to let the pros do just about anything. You simply drop a script into your page, setup an account and design right on your very own page. You can even start out with a completely blank page on your site or edit elements already coded in the existing html! Check it out.

  15. 3820

    Hi guys Im using Serif Web PLUS X4 Its very good WYSIWIG editor.you can also download a starter edition version which is fre .I highly recommend this peogram

  16. 4021

    Geez, this is like reading about the good old days of Assembler & using superZap to modify S/360 registers & memory directly.

    Tons of arrogance and snobbery—boobs all. Wouldn’t hire any of them to update my calendar, let alone design a Website.

    As for the rest, I hope they aren’t providing content because they can’t write or understand English. Reminds me of the lady I knew who was a ‘technical writer’. What she was was an HTML coder, but decidedly NOT a writer.

  17. 4222

    Am not a pro and used DW,NAMO, XARA,ANTENNA, ETC and none of them are easy to use. The most frastrating one is DW. Am here to find an easier one to use for simplke websites. Thank all of you to suggest diff editors. Sometimes all one need is a simple site. As an ad-guy, I know what works for simple people who read those pages. Many PRO sites are just bad for the gen public and sells nothing…but looks good. So what’s the use?

  18. 4423

    Wow, quite a nice summary. I’m not sure if SharePoint designer really deserved a place in that list, but I can agree with all the other entries. Also, I’m missing WebsitePainter (http://www.ambiera.com/websitepainter/index.html) in there, a nice pretty new editor.

  19. 4624

    Where can I get the WYSIWIG that Constant Contact uses? Can you point me to the developer/company that produces them?

  20. 4825

    How would you rate PageBreeze (a free WYSIWYG editor)?

  21. 5026

    I’ve tried nearly all the WYSIWYG editors. None of them are perfect yet, by a very long shot.

    Am I missing one? Please educate me.

  22. 5227

    I can work in html and css.. but my boss can’t, and she’s got a hundred page website cobbled together in FrontPage over the last ten years… the only thing I can see in the code is     etc.

    She wants a professional looking site, with an excellent and creative design, complicated form processing, interfaced with a blog and 4 mailing lists, created from scratch to save money……. but with FrontPage style accessibility so she can add pages, forms, design work, and pretty much anything she wants to.. without any coding knowledge whatsoever.

    After some serious research into WYSIWYG, I have decided this is impossible!! My only idea is to make templates in DreamWeaver that anyone could sort of copy paste content into… *sobbing quietly*…

  23. 5428

    After reading this I downloaded Kompozer again and it is blowing my mind how far it has advanced since the last time I looked at it. The CSS editor is effortless, everything is logical and easy to access. Really great. Nvu and Komposer are successors to the built-in designer in Netscape way back when, which of course was very primitive and produced rotten code. Whip up a sample page in Komposer’s WSYWIG and then look at the code, however; it is EXCELLENT. The hand-code-only snobs have a very important and valid point: you will get miserably stuck quite often if you don’t understand how HTML works. When your WSYWIG program produces something that doesn’t do what it is supposed to, one element gets all mixed up with another, etc., if you can’t pop into the code view to debug the problem, you’re screwed. This is the thing I miss about the old-time WordPerfect 5, a word processor from the 90’s that had no WSYWIG interface at all. But it had a command to open up all hidden codes. I don’t think you can do that on any WSYWIG word processor nowadays that I’m aware of. You didn’t have to open it very often, but when you had to, you really had to. But to maintain in 2010 that laboriously typing in HTML code line by line is the only legitimate way to produce web content is just plain stupid. Sorry to be blunt, but it is. Especially for me and the other folks who bother to read an article like this—obviously we aren’t trained, skilled professionals who do this all day for Bloomberg or MSNBC. Nonetheless, if you can find one of those people who does all their coding by hand—seriously, ALL of it—let me know so I can scoff and shake my head. Especially when the professional products from Adobe and Microsoft are what they are. Or even Amaya which after all is produced by the people responsible for writing the official HTML code standards in the first place. Give me a break. I always enjoy a good reason to scoff and shake my head, so please, if you know one, (or are one), please reply.

  24. 5629

    Adobe GoLive seems to show the SmashingMagazine site’s layout quite well.
    I use hard coding, as well as FrontPage (ancient) and Dreamweaver 8.
    But, they both have problems in showing the DIVs correctly, sometimes even with tables. So I am looking for a good WYSIWYG editor that shows all like a browser… or at least close to how a browser shows the info.
    Shuriken Internet Marketing

  25. 5830

    Thank you Smashing Magazine for keeping this old thread open!
    Thank you Sven Lennartz for writing the article that spawned so much confused commenting!!
    And thanks to:
    hdoug & max for stirring up so much web design fervor!

    @nufto: Yes, the content is THE thing (or king)

    @Pulling Out My Fn Hair! & curi, with your *sobbing quietly*:ROFL

    Well, if Umberto Ecco can compare Mac vs PC to Catholics vs. Protestants and Mike Davidson can say “the entire world wide web is a hack”, then I feel I can liken Dreamweaver to the entire western world’s Christian belief system giving shelter to both saints and crooks, true believers and heretics. Now with CS5, Dreamweaver has as much going for or against it as Photoshop or any of their other bloated apps. I hate the code it produces, hate the way it interprets pages that I open with it, and have yet to be convinced of it’s usefulness sans WYSIWYG.

    Hey, Mr. Lennartz! What’s the deal with promoting RapidWeaver ?
    I use RW4 myself and have yet to learn of its “live php rendering, mix and match WYSIWYG and HTML”, and “viewable source code.” I’ve also tried Sandvox and don’t like either of them. Like curi, I’m sobbing too, as I’ve had to really gnash and gnaw at this coding crap until my brain is numb. But you know what, I’m learning. (thanks in large part to this website and people like Chris Coyier) I’m using TextMate, Espresso, CSSEdit, Firebug, Transmit, sometimes Flux, and now I’m digging into NetBeans. I’m far from fluency, but I know I’ll never rely on a WYSIWYG tool to produce my code. I would rather type a screenplay than edit 1,000 hours of film footage! And what’s wrong with Web 1.0 anyway?

    My brilliant geek brother only works in Flash now and sounds as confused as many of those commenting here. He’s told me many times over the years that with increasing bandwidths and computing power, there’ll be less and less need for lean code. Over the many years of the Internet’s growth, these technical misunderstandings have fused into what essentially amounts to rival cult groups, each with their own theology.

    People, people, don’t you understand that the future has arrived? We live and work with robots that DO NOT CARE what our designs look like on our computers OR on the web. Creating a site that loads nicely in a browser and easily avails it’s content to search engines is a process that demands human interrogation. Our brains, as the biggest super computers on the planet, should not yield our (already semantic) markup to STUPID LITTLE MACHINES.

  26. 6031

    Bluefish has a great intellisense, is brilliant for css, php and xhtml.

    I’ve also used Quanta Plus and its a great tool too.
    If you want a quick light weight editor try geany.

  27. 6232

    I find some of these comments interesting, but I’m still looking for good input on choices. I’ve been leaning toward Dreamweaver.
    I’m not a professional and never will be. I have little interest in learning html coding. I’m a half century old and have been authoring a few sites for about a decade. I’ve been using a program originally called Trellix, later changed to Cutesite. The program has worked well for me and is still working (as long as I stay in world of Windows XP). The program will not work in Win 7 and therefor I’m looking for alternatives to continue. The sites I do are on a volunteer basis for myself, family or non-profit associations.
    I understand Dreamweaver has a little bit of a learning curve. The plus side of it, is it will most likely still be here in another decade when I need to move onto the next Windows OS, whatever version that may be.

  28. 6433

    Vincenzo Milanese

    February 4, 2011 5:52 pm

    Seems hard to find a good Free WYSIWYG Html editor for the Mac. If anyone bumps into one let me know.


  29. 6634

    I agree Dreamweaver is the way to go, its very easy to use.

    For all our XML friends there is Liquid XML editor ( http://www.liquid-technologies.com/XML-Editor.aspx) which is very interesting because it allows development in a “tabular grid like environment”. this is a first for me, has anyone else seen an XML editor which does this???

  30. 6835

    everyone says dream weaver is easy to use i am not a total beginner but i find i am learning dream weaver very slowly. is there anywhere i can learn dream weaver quicker?

  31. 7036

    brent I wouldn’t say that Dreamweaver is easy to learn but compared to the alternative (hand coding everything) it is a lot easier. In my opinion anything that saves you from having to hand coding something is quit useful (most of the time). Just keep at it, try web tutorials and ask on forums if you get stuck.

  32. 7237

    yup. somewhy dreamweaver has been corrupting some of my sourcecodes so i’M downloading bluegriffon right now. let’s see what it’ll do.

  33. 7438

    After reading some of these comments I just have to post something.

    I can’t believe all the people saying any “real” developer will only program in Notepad or some other text editor.

    What a load of rubbish, I can only assume you are wanting people to think you’re cool because you can write some html code.

    FYI First i used Claris, then Dreamweaver. Now I use ASP.NET VB, Microsoft SQL Databases and build all my websites in Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express 2010, it has great CSS management, database and SQL tools are excellent and Master pages make redesigning websites a breeze.

    I have been building websites for 12 years in a corporate environment, i.e.
    Getting paid to do it and have always used a WYSIWYG editor.

    I can program in code and still do in certain situations normally manual loading of data from databases not for layout purposes. As an example why would you want to write out full SQL select code, when you can drag and drop something, tick some boxes and it’s done? Maybe you get paid by the hour and want to drag out your coding?

    Personally I want to get the job done, get it done well and keep getting paid.

    I use a WYSIWYG editor, my pages rank well, they download fast, a Page Speed ranking of 97/100 and search engine friendly.

    So for all you out there wanting to build a website, use a WYSIWYG editor. I recommend Visual Web Developer Express 2010 it’s FREE and it’s powerful and theres a host of training vidoes that will get you started, it has to be worth a look

    Best of luck to you all.

  34. 7639

    IMHO the best for image managment – http://ckuploader.com

  35. 7840

    I had great experiences with Kompozer. Producing very light coding and easy to use. This was however when I used a windows computer. Now I have switched over to Mac and its OS X system I found out both Kompozer and NVU are worthless. On the Mac it loses all formatting (tables but also h1 and links) as soon as you paste in any other application. This was the case for Word but more important even happened when pasting it into the text editor used for my Joomla build site (Joomla FCK). Don’t tell me it is a problem of Joomla, Word or whatsever. It is just because Kompozer latest version for Mac just does not work properly and has bugs in that respect. Strange I do not read more similar experiences on the net. And pity its developpers do not respond to my observations posted. But today I discovered SeaMonkey and it is great!!!! It works like a charm when you paste text made in it to any other application; not any important formatting gets lost. I am very grateful to this site and its editor Sven Lennartz for showing me right direction! Thanks!

  36. 8041

    this thread is a little old, but would like to see the so called “pro’s” samples of websites they’ve done in notepad. Most of the people in my life I run across that tout the “i code by hand” has cheasy text based websites. Most clients I run across want more flash than usability, so when you hand them a “MS doc” looking thing, they want to strangle you.

  37. 8242

    This article is old but still useful….

    I learned MS Expression Web before Adobe DreamWeaver. I still use both, but i hardly open Expression Web this days. All of them have one or more advantages and disadvantages.
    Sometimes after making my website with DW i’ll switch to EW to upload it…. I always felt that EW is faster in uploading than DW.

  38. 8443

    I have used Adobe Dreamweaver before it was even called that…………. I used Adobe PageMill 2 in 1997 and have continued to use Adobe WYSIWYG products ever since……….. Before all that – I learned code by myself with NotePad on my first computer with Windows 95 in 1996………….. Since I learned to code first, just because I now still use DW CS5 doesn’t mean that I’m lazy or don’t know how to code html………….. You can use DW in code view only and get that old notpad feel – like the good old days…………… But, don’t ever pay for DW if you don’t have to, or any other program for that matter…………Crack them!!………………… Sboj .S

  39. 8644

    Sigh… what almost everyone here seems to be ignoring is that saying ‘I like this program’ or ‘I like that one’ is all very well-but when you are designing sites for clients you need a program that can integrate a cms or else you have to do all your client’s changes yourself. And only Dreamweaver, Freeway and Rapidweaver really offer any way to do this without hand coding (and Rapidweaver only allows use of one cms, which is WebYep). I have built and deployed a portfolio of sites for various clients and in my view (having tried just about every program mentioned on this thread) the only realistic way forward is to use a Mac, build sites in Freeway, if necessary then edit them in Dreamweaver and use either WebYep, Joomla or Expression Engine as the CMS. All the others either generate really poor code or else they require you to already know enough html or css to use the interface as a labour saving device (eg Kompozer, which is very good but has no CMS tools built in to my knowledge). The one app I have not yet really tried is Flux (Mac only). As for adobe Muse… please lets not go there… the code is awful, you have to host with Adobe and it is subscription only-you never finish paying for the software.

  40. 8845

    All these suck. The best editor is you’re own good knowledge of html and css. Makes everything alot easier without learning all these dumb programs. I used to take the easy way out shortcut by not learning html and css using dreamweaver, webpage maker, photoshop templates but found it more of a hassle. Learn the code, makes ur life a whole lot easier.

  41. 9046

    I’m suprised there’s no listing of XSitePro, ver. 2 (and ver 2 is the one
    to review as an excellent WYSIWYG web editior).

  42. 9247

    I don’t know what WYSIWYG stands first of all?

    However, it is probably not so important.

  43. 9448

    Thanks for the review buddy.

  44. 9649

    I prefer using a WYSIWYG because I like taking a visual approach to things. This does NOT mean I am being lazy either.

    When I change something I can see the results immediately; I admit I am not a coder and I have no intentions of becoming a hand coder either but that doesn’t mean I am going to use sloppy codes either.

    We are all different in our approaches, using a WYSIWYG doesn’t change anything.

    Anyways the list was very useful and I downloaded KompoZer to try it out.

  45. 9850

    Thank you Sven, for putting together this review of WYSIWYG’s for those of us who have no intention of or interest in typing all this stuff out by hand. The WYSIWYG is for people who have other talents and just need something simple to construct a site for their own products. I started years ago with FrontPage and found it terrific, along with Filezilla, and my sites are not unartistic. But I hear FrontPage will soon cause difficulties as browsers evolve. I tried to import one site into Dreamweaver but it wouldn’t go in, even when making a page a Word page. Is there a trick to getting a site that has been built with one WYSIWYG into another without having to start all over? And if not getting it into Dreamweaver, maybe a different editor?

  46. 10051

    I think Flux for Mac is also an advanced WYSIWYG application.

  47. 10252


    July 21, 2012 7:01 pm

    bro i have created a “wysiwyg” page file but don’t know how to convert to an xml file for blogger template please help me

  48. 10453

    New WYSIWYG editor found: WebDrag.
    Drag and drop at any position instead of templates.
    Found here: http://www.webdrag.nl

  49. 10654

    nice review to this day :) also check out openElement

  50. 10855

    Hey I love wysiwyg web builder! I started using it recently and I think its the best! But you say you have 6000+ pages!! I seem to have trouble managing pages and going back to modify in bulk (I love how I have 100% control but is there a way to somehow make a change like header or button without doing it manually to each and every single page?) this is very important as my website is updating rapidly with new content. And also how do you publish only updated pages? Where did you learn is there a book?

  51. 11056

    WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get


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